Morning News Briefs: Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
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North Carolina Ag Chief Makes $300M-Plus Request On Florence Aid
North Carolina's agriculture agency is asking for more than $300 million from the state for the cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Florence, most of which would go as direct payments to farmers who lost crops and livestock.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler made the pitch to a legislative committee Monday, a week before the General Assembly is set to reconvene to consider more Florence aid. Lawmakers set aside $50 million to match federal funds during a special session last week.
Governor Redirects $25M To Repair Schools Hit By Florence
North Carolina's governor is taking hold of state lottery profits and sending $25 million to repair schools with immediate needs after damage caused by Hurricane Florence.
Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday he's acting to speed up repairs, with priority in eight counties hit the hardest. Cooper's office says seven public school systems remain closed since last month's storm, keeping nearly 90,000 students out of classrooms in more than 130 schools.
Greensboro Gets New System To Help Filter City Water
Greensboro has a new filtration system to help reduce potentially harmful chemicals found in the city’s drinking water.
Over the past year and a half, Greensboro water officials found elevated levels of compounds known as PFOS and PFOA in drinking water.
The Mitchell treatment plant had some of the highest concentrations, which exceeded federal health advisory levels.
A powdered activated carbon system was recently installed at the site to reduce the pollutants. Michael Borchers, with the city’s Water Resources Department, says it’s a temporary solution.
Borchers says the permanent solution is expected to take around three years to complete. The city says it will continue weekly testing at key sites.
Forsyth Dems Tap Scippio To Replace Montgomery On Council
Annette Scippio, who once challenged Derwin Montgomery for a seat in the General Assembly, appears headed to take his place on the Winston-Salem City Council.
It marks the second time in two months that Democrats have had to select a person to fill an unexpired term.
Back in August, it was the state House seat of Ed Hanes, who had abruptly announced that he was stepping down.
Montgomery and Scippio were the only ones nominated to take his place. Montgomery, who has served nine years on the city council, had Hanes’ endorsement. Scippio was a last-minute addition.
Montgomery ultimately prevailed. But taking the statehouse seat meant giving up the one he had on the council in a district long held by Democrats.
On Sunday, the party recommended Scippio as his replacement. That is subject to council approval. A vote will likely take place at their November meeting.
Prosecutor Seeks Review Of Legislative Leader's Legal Work
A North Carolina prosecutor has asked investigators to look into concerns about legal work performed by one of the legislature's top leaders, but House Speaker Tim Moore says he has never mixed that work with his lawmaking duties.
The News & Observer reports that Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into Moore's work for developer Neal Hunter's pharmaceutical company. Previously, Moore's legislation had rescued a Durham project involving Hunter. Moore was then House rules chairman.
Freeman also asked the SBI to investigate Moore's private legal work preceding legislation involving bail agents.
Recovering Addicts Sue Rehab Boss For Unpaid Labor
A federal lawsuit says the owners of a North Carolina drug rehab program as well as adult care homes and restaurants owe recovering addicts for unpaid work they performed.
The lawsuit filed by Andrew Presson of Olney, Maryland, and Kimberly Myris of Pinehurst, North Carolina, says they and others in recovery were then worked up to 16 hours a day at for-profit businesses that contracted with Recovery Connections Community for laborers.
Presson and Myris say they didn't get paid and the residential substance abuse recovery program's owners pocketed their wages.